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Diaz not a tax-dodger, insists manager

ESPN staff
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Nick Diaz was beaten at UFC 158 © Getty Images
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Nick Diaz's manager, Cesar Gracie, has moved to play down speculation surrounding the welterweight's tax status.

Following his defeat to UFC champion Georges St-Pierres at UFC 158 last weekend, Diaz sparked concern that he might be in for a call from the Internal Revenue Service after claiming that he had never paid US income taxes.

Gracie, while noting that the fighter is "a little crazy", insists his client misspoke.

"Nick is a little crazy, but he has paid taxes," Gracie told USA Today.

However, a lawyer claiming to be close to Diaz believes a mix-up has left Diaz needing to sort out his recent tax affairs.

"Nick thought Cesar was taking care of it for him, and Cesar wasn't," lawyer Jonathan Tweedale claimed. "It doesn't mean Nick is screwed, but it does mean things need to be figured out."

Gracie has denied Tweedale's version of events, although he conceded that Diaz had not been to see some accountants recommended to him.

"He never went to see them," Gracie said. "His girlfriend and his previous girlfriend have taken him to see CPAs. What they did with that is none of my business.

"He's a grown man."

Gracie added: "He should have never made that statement. He should have just gotten an accountant and paid his taxes. He made a lot of money for this fight. Just get yourself squared away, bro. You're there for a fight. You're going to start talking about taxes?"

Diaz is likely to have earned the biggest payday of his career for the meeting with St-Pierre, but on Sunday Dana White indicated that the UFC was aware of Diaz's tax issues and concerned he will end up forced to pay a significant amount of his fight purse to the IRS.

"At the end of the day, Nick has been in the sport forever, he wanted a shot at the title and he got a shot at the title and he got paid a lot of money for it," White said. "What's sad is, he's gotta go pay his taxes; that will be sad.

"If someone doesn't take care of that kid and get him set straight ... Somebody better handle that with his cheque and make sure that kid doesn't end up with nothing."

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